Don’t you just love when you find a great bargain? A couple of weeks ago I got that Rosenblum zinfandel at about 1/3 the price it was going for elsewhere and yesterday I found some more bargains — and I wasn’t even looking. Not wine, though, other stuff. Let’s start with the plants!
First of all, I finally grabbed the trowel and clippers, pulled on my gardening gloves and removed the dead snapdragons from the little space under the kitchen window. I love to have flowers there because it makes the entrance festive — but not when it’s a bunch of dead stalks. So now, what to replace them with? It’s a bit of a problem because the area is small and right up against the stucco wall so it gets plenty of heat, but it is also north-facing so only gets direct sunshine for a few hours in mid-summer. Flowers need sunshine to bloom. I don’t know if that’s a scientific fact, but I’ve discovered it’s true as I’ve tried a variety of flowers there — mums and snapdragons and impatiens. So, off to the nursery.
I’ve found that Lowe’s has a pretty good selection of plants, so headed there. The one farthest from me — but easiest to get to because it’s just off the freeway — always has some good bargains and unusual plants. Today, they had something called a “Potato bush” which wouldn’t fit in that space, but maybe could replace my now-dead butterfly bush. When I re-landscaped a few years ago, I chose plants that were orange and purple — sounds ghastly, but really it’s a striking combination. Beautiful purple “Texas Sage” and Mexican bird-of-paradise which is bright orange. I’m not carrying that color-scheme through to the little planter, but am determined to keep it in the front yard. But I digress …
I looked at all the plants and discovered that almost all of them said, “full sun,” which ordinarily in our climate would be ideal. But not in the shaded flower bed. I did a couple of circuits around the garden center just to be sure, and as I was getting ready to leave, noticed a bright yellow tag over by the plant food. “Clearance — 73 cents.” Really? Big bags of plant food for flowers. “Originally $12.97.” Really?? There were only two bags and I grabbed them both. “Are these really 73 cents?” I asked the cashier. She scanned them quickly. “You bet.” “Wow! I’ll take them both.” That’s enough plant food to last a couple of years even if I do remember to use it every 3 months.
I left sans flowers, but feeling quite pleased. Now on to the other Lowe’s. but first, a quick run into K Mart to check out their garden center, only to find it totally devoid of flowers. Nothing — nada — zilch. Well, boo. On the way out, however, I passed a big bin of notebook paper marked 50 cents. Terrific! I needed some notebook paper to put in the backpacks I’m putting together for the church’s “back-to-school-backpack” drive. I’d meant to go to the Dollar Store, but here it was marked 50 cents a pack! Wow! I scooped up 6 packs and was astonished when the cashier said, “that’s $1.89.” “No, I told her, they’re 50 cents each — it should be $3.24” (8% tax). She checked the cash register receipt, she counted the number of packs of paper. “No, for some reason it deducted another $1.25. It’s $1.89.” I put two dollars in her hand and grabbed my paper, not even bothering with a bag. Such a deal!
And as I was heading to Lowe’s I remembered, “Hey, this is the day that Long John Silver’s is giving away fish and fries!” I’d seen the ad for free fish and fries — no purchase necessary — between noon and 3:00 p.m. It was close to 2:00 by this time and I figured I’d missed the bulk of the crowd. Only a few people waiting to pick up their orders and one woman ahead of me in line. She had a handful of coupons and was evidently ordering for an entire tribe.
“… and the shrimp basket,” she said as she shuffled through her papers, “and, uh, one of the fish-chicken-combo, and, uh, let me see … oh, yes, a two piece with fries, and … how much is that now?” Oh my gosh, just as I was about ready to grab the coupons out of her hand and yell at her, she said, “I guess that’s enough.” “More than enough,” I wanted to add, eyeing her massive girth. Of course, who am I to talk — I’m not a size 10 myself.
I got my fish and fries which were actually pretty good — at least the fish. Fries are fries.
On to Lowe’s where I was not surprised to find that their selection of plants was meager and of no interest whatsoever. I took a quick peek at their plant food section and spotted the exact same bag of plant food that was 73 cents at the other Lowe’s and here it was marked $1.79. Feeling very smug, I smiled at the cashier and walked out empty-handed.
I still have to find some plants to go under the kitchen window, and now I have enough plant food to last for the next three years. And oh yes, when I got home, I discovered it was the same as the plant food I’d bought earlier this year at the nursery and paid $13 for the bag. Am I good, or what?